LABOUR MP Chris Williamson laid into the “shady” US history of interventions to destabilise Latin American governments on Wednesday night as the row over the crisis in Venezuela escalated.
Mr Williamson told the BBC that it was wrong to pursue sanctions against Venezuela when there is a “massive crisis” in the country and called for talks to encourage the right-wing opposition groups to stop violent street protests.
The shadow fire minister accused the US of “aiding and abetting” demonstrations and funding Venezuelan groups to destabilise President Nicolas Maduro.
He also highlighted a history of US interference in the region which went “right back to Chile where president Nixon said he was going to make the economy scream.”
Mr Williamson expressed concern over the lack of media criticism of the right-wing opposition and the US in the crisis and told of “manufactured shortages” as factory owners stop production.
Labour backbencher Graham Jones accused Mr Williamson of backing the “wrong side” with “rampant corruption and inflation at 720 per cent” in Venezuela.
Communist Party general secretary Rob Griffiths condemned US President Trump’s refusal to recognise the result of the Venezuelan election.
He said it is “our duty” to defend Mr Maduro’s elected government which has made “great strides” in redistributing wealth and given a voice to the excluded and underrepresented.
And Mr Griffiths urged people to lobby their MEPs over comments made by president of the EU Parliament Antonio Tajani, who backed US sanctions.
Meanwhile former London mayor Ken Livingstone hit back at “deliberate misreporting” of comments regarding the situation in Venezuela.
He dismissed accusations that he suggested former Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez should have killed all the oligarchs in a radio interview.
“The point I was making is that … Chavez didn’t repress the former ruling elite in Venezuela and many members of the former ruling elite stayed in the country, seeking to overthrow elected presidents through unconstitutional and violent means, including the coup in 2002, ever since.”
A Venezuela Solidarity Campaign spokesman said: “It is obviously the case from looking at history that US intervention has caused much chaos and ruin in Latin America over generations, and has brought instability to Venezuela in recent years.”
He urged for international dialogue to resolve the crisis instead of unilateral sanctions.